The latest weekly crop of USDA stated that as of Sunday, the 2018 U.S. corn crop was 81% planted compared to 82% last year and 81% for the 5-year average. Corn emergence was 50% compared to 51% last year and 47% for the 5-year average. With the exception of areas in the northwestern Corn Belt, corn planting has caught up to or even surpassed the average planting pace.
Recent warm temperatures especially in the more southern areas, have encouraged a rapid emergence of the corn. As a result, the corn emergence is actually ahead of average which is good because the growing season starts when the corn emerges and not when it is planted.
The soybeans are being planted ahead of the average planting pace which is almost always a positive development. But, just because the soybeans are planted early, it does not necessarily mean that the soybeans will have above trend line yields. As we all know from past experience, the soybean yields will be determined by the weather during July and August and not by the weather during May and June.
The slowest soybean planting is also in the northwestern Corn Belt where South Dakota farmers have planted 24% of their soybeans (average is 44%), North Dakota has planted 33% (average is 40%), Wisconsin has planted 33% (average is 35%) and Minnesota has planted 48% (average is 56%). Farmers in Iowa are actually ahead of the average pace at 58% planted (average is 51%).